Who knew a borrowed camera could lead to living the good life!
I now travel the world capturing the sparks that first inspired my couples to say 'I do!'
If I could go back in time and give myself one key piece of advice to do differently my first few years of my business it would be:
Outsourcing can be the solution if you’re feeling underwater, or like you’re perpetually behind and can’t get caught up. Or if you’re just starting out, it can be a way you can skyrocket to success.Outsourcing will free you up to work ON your business rather than just IN your business. It can act as a fast-pass to help you achieve your goals sooner by giving you the freedom to pour more of your energy and focus into the areas that matter most.
Of course, I knew all this (logically.) YET, I still struggled when it came to spending the money and loosening the tight grip I had on my business. I thought I was protecting my business. But in truth, I was suffocating it and stifling its growth.
This is a struggle many photographers and creative business owners face. And it’s what I’m tackling in today’s video. We’ll be chatting about:
Now, I love editing, and I have a very specific editing style I’ve developed over the years. So it took some trial and error to create a workflow for outsourcing editing that was congruent with my vision and quality standards. What I came up with is a hybrid 3-step approach.
Step 1: Cull & Edit ‘Selects’: I select the images in the final set to be edited. I then edit a sampling of images from different points in the day – from getting ready to reception. This establishes the overall look and style for my editor to use as a gui de. (Essentially, they then match the rest of the images to be cohesive with my sample edits.)
Step 2: I use bundle this up and send to my editor who sends me back ~40 of their sample edits to review. If all looks good, I give the go-ahead to finish the full set!
Step 3: I get the edit back from the editor, do a final review, add my finishing touches, export, and get everything out to the couple!
Initially it was a lot of back and forth, but over time the editor learned my style and the way I like things, and it’s become a HUGE time-saver that is worth every penny. I use Photographers Edit‘s premium membership, which is what I’d recommend so that you have a dedicated team. If you’d like to try them out, use code ‘chelsean’ for 50% off your first edit.
Album design is another thing I’m very particular on, as it’s the final way the images are being experienced. For this, I developed my own ‘base’ templates in Adobe InDesign that can be easily moved around, tweaked and customized based on what will best tell the story of each unique wedding day. This gives my designer a starting point guide so that the album is in line with my style. I then review it and make any changes before sending to the couple for the final review.
Hiring a great accountant not only saves time, but can also you save money! Get recommendations from friends, interview and hire an accountant that is knowledgeable and works with creatives or small businesses.
I started outsourcing house cleaning several years back and it was hands down one of THE best investments I made, not only for my business, but for my sanity. Our cleaners come every other week, and it saves so much time. You may cringe at the cost, but it saves hours that can be put towards MUCH more important marketing and profit-driving tasks in your business. Also, I’ve found a clean workspace does wonders for productivity, creativity and sanity.
I use Pixieset for my client galleries which is partnered with my favorite professional lab (WHCC) and doesn’t take any commission on sales. The design of the site is beautiful and when ordering prints, my couples and their families have the convenience of ordering right through the gallery. My creative partners take care of all printing, fulfillment and delivery, which saves time while also getting the products to my couples faster.
For those that read this and still struggle with the cost of outsourcing being the #1 thing hold you back, I want to end with this:
“Time is money, and money is time. If you’re spending hours on tasks you don’t have to do or you’re not skilled at, you’re essentially spending money! If you’re only noticing the money you’re saving and not the time you’re losing, your naivety is costing you. Your time is the only resource you cannot duplicate or outsource.” – foundr
Time is the most valuable resource we have and the only thing we can’t get more of. I know it can be scary spending the money, letting go of control and trusting other people to care as much as you do, but I promise you: it’s SO worth it. Your future-self will thank you!
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© 2021 Chelsea Nicole Photography
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Chelsea Nicole is an internationally recognized Photographer/Educator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Serving worldwide.
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